Sunday, May 20, 2018

UEFA Champions League: Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 2

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 May 2013


Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben fired Bayern Munich past Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.

An entertaining first half at Wembley saw both Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and his Dortmund counterpart Roman Weidenfeller make a series of excellent saves as both sides went to the break locked at 0-0.
Mandzukic bagged the game’s first goal after 60 minutes, tapping in after a Robben cutback, but their lead did not last long as Ilkay Gundogan levelled from the penalty spot for Dortmund.
Bayern were to have the last laugh though, as Robben netted a dramatic 89th minute winner for Jupp Heynckes’ side.

Both sides were unchanged from their last Bundesliga fixtures, and as is common in a fixture of such magnitude, they made a cagey beginning.

Once things settled down, it was Dortmund doing all the attacking as Bayern goalkeeper Neuer was forced into four saves within 10 minutes.

Initially the keeper was worked by an opportunistic Robert Lewandowski effort from 25 yards, before he made a superb save with his left-foot to deny Jakub Blaszczykowski from close range following a clever Marco Reus cross.

Dortmund kept the pressure up, before Bayern, with one of their first meaningful attacks, came exceptionally close to delivering a sucker-punch.

Franck Ribery was the provider, with his cross finding the head of Mandzukic in a sea of Dortmund bodies.

Mandzukic’s superb leap and header was only denied by a stunning Weidenfeller save, as the Dortmund goalkeeper tipped the ball over the bar when it seemed destined to hit the back of the net.

It was a gripping first half of end-to-end football, but just like the first half, both teams struggled to get going in the early stages of the second.

Just before the hour-mark, a Bayern corner – that was flicked on by Javi Martinez at the near post – was headed wide of goal by Mandzukic.

It was a warning sign, and it was one Dortmund did not heed, as Mandzukic scored the game’s first goal in the 60th minute.

A clever Ribery pass, which came after he was surrounded by three Dortmund players, released Robben inside the penalty area, and he cleverly cut the ball back to Mandzukic via Weidenfeller’s shin, who scored a simple left-foot finish from inside the six-yard box.

It sparked wild celebrations among the Bayern fans but to Dortmund’s credit, they mustered a quick response, and one of their attacks led to a penalty.

Bayern defender Dante cynically brought down former Borussia Monchengladbach team-mate Reus in Dortmund’s penalty area, and the Brazilian could have no arguments with the decision.

Lewandowski, who saw a penalty saved by Neuer in a 1-1 Bundesliga draw exactly three weeks ago, did not step up to take the spot-kick, with midfielder Gundogan taking the honours and comfortably slotting the chance.

The thrilling nature of the game continued as Bayern broke free, with Thomas Mueller beating Dortmund’s Marcel Schmelzer before rounding the onrushing Weidenfeller.

Mueller’s cross-cum-shot was either destined for Robben or heading in itself, but neither happened as Neven Subotic made an incredible goal-line clearance.

David Alaba and Bastian Schweinsteiger forced Weidenfeller into smart saves with good efforts from distance before Robben won the game with his late heroics.
A smart back-heel from Ribery allowed Robben to split Dortmund’s defence and he skipped the challenge of Hummels before shooting past Weidenfeller as the Bavarian giants won Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2001.


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